The story appears on

Page B2

January 8, 2010

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Business » Economy

Small rise in claims hints ease in layoffs

THE number of Americans claiming unemployment benefits for the first time barely rose last week, after two weeks of sharp drops, further evidence that layoffs are easing.

The United States Labor Department yesterday said initial claims for jobless benefits rose by 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 434,000 last week. That's lower than the 447,000 that analysts expected, according to Thomson Reuters.

The four-week average of claims, which smooths fluctuations, fell for the 18th straight week to 450,250. That figure is nearing the roughly 425,000 that many economists say would be a sign the economy will start creating jobs.

Economists are closely watching initial claims, which are considered a gauge of the pace of layoffs and an indication of companies' willingness to hire new workers. As the economy slowly recovers from the worst recession since the 1930s, more hiring is critical to boosting workers' incomes and providing the fuel for increasing consumer spending and further economic growth.

The number of continuing claims fell 179,000 to 4.8 million, the department said. But that figure doesn't include an extra 5.4 million people getting jobless claims under federal emergency programs, by the week ended December 19, the latest data available.

A total of 10.5 million people were receiving jobless benefits that week, a rise of about 300,000 from the previous week. That increase is partly a result of a decision by Congress in November to extend benefits for a fourth time since the recession began. Jobless workers can now get up to 73 weeks of benefits, paid for by the federal government, on top of the 26 weeks customarily provided by the states.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend